Urbanization causes many water management problems, some of which receive adequate attention, whereas others do not. In September 2000, the countries of the world adopted the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during the Millennium Summit Conference in New York. In particular to ensure environmental sustainability then, (goal no. 7 of the MDGs) the following targets have been set:
These targets are unlikely to be met unless there is a considerable acceleration in the current global efforts to improve the situation. For example, lack of proper urban water management has caused many rivers, which are situated near urban centres, to transform into open sewers. Groundwater is also becoming increasingly contaminated due to inadequate wastewater and solid waste treatment. Because water management in the urban areas of the developing world is becoming more and more complicated, the past and present solutions will gradually become ineffective for future problems.
For this reason UNESCO decided to initiate a study “Problem assessment and strategic urban planning on Urban water management” focusing on the Middle East and Central Asia region. UNESCO asked the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RCUWM) based in Tehran (Iran) and UNESCO-IHE based in Delft (The Netherlands) to carry out the study. In this report the demographic, economic and urbanization challenges of the region, as well as methodology and some preliminary results are presented.
Based on the analysis of these conducted studies, the following interventions should be addressed: